Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:
Gillard is on a suicide mission
A joke I remember well from school is that of the Japanese Wing Commander briefing his pilots before a mission in about 1945. In emphatic language he lauds the virtues of Japan, the Emperor and the war task, then orders that the pilots load their planes with bombs, fly low into the rising sun and on into the sides of US ships. The Wing Commander then asks ”any questions?”
”Only one,” comes the reply from a bandana-wearing pilot in the front row ”most honourable Wing Commander, have you gone completely crazy?”
I am waiting for some bandana-wearing Labor parliamentarian to ask the same question of Julia Gillard after she has ordered her troops to reload their planes with the carbon tax and fly it into the side of the electorate.
She has just seen the most precise example of an electoral annihilation in Queensland. The exit polling indicates that cost of living, trust and the carbon tax were issues foremost in voters’ minds. My own survey on the polling booths affirms these findings.
What was the PM thinking when, after this disaster, she announces a rededication to this ludicrous cause? Anyhow, my colleagues and I will back Gillard’s stubbornness over discernment and capitalise on the Labor party’s inability to do the bleeding obvious and drop the carbon tax.
Tony Windsor claims that the Queensland election was a victory for independents; well of course Tony, how did the front pages miss that story? Only two out of five were re-elected; one sits in a safe Labor seat (Gladstone) and the other suffered a 10 per cent swing against him. On average the independents suffered an 18 per cent swing against them, even larger than the 15 per cent swing against the Labor party, but in WindsorWorld this is a job well done.
Hubris is our greatest foe. The Katter Australian Party, or its next reincarnation, will harvest a resentment vote on the aspirations of those whose lives or rights may not change enough for their vote to lock in where they last placed it. Labor will be still trying to ”get back to its core” but this will prove near impossible with Julia Gillard casting a clumsy shadow over all Labor grassroots philosophy.
The LNP has a massive task in front of it. It must start paying back debt; it has to put a broom through the areas of the bureaucracy that are not willing to go on the journey that the public vote has overwhelmingly asked for; it has to still invest in key infrastructure or the state business plan will not be able to raise the money to pay the debt.
Importantly it has to change the culture about how it sees itself and how the world sees Queensland. It has to brush the cobwebs from tourism venues that seem to be still living in the ’80s. It has to realise that the wealth, coal, cotton, cattle, grain and the troublesome coal seam gas start in the regions and the people in the regions know this.
The LNP has made a good start by scrapping more than $650 million in programs that aim to change the temperature of the globe. Trying to change the climate from a room in George Street is absurd. We may as well send Campbell Newman to South Korea this week to help the world dispose of nuclear material, and there would be more chance of success there than in changing the climate.
It is simply not the Queensland government’s core business. Every dollar spent on these woopy ”green” programs is a waste of taxpayers’ money if there is no relationship between the spend and a real outcome.
A fundamental lesson of the Queensland election for all political parties is don’t get too carried away saving the world when it is quite evident that is not the league we play in; leave that to the US, China and the 100 million population league. Instead, concentrate on roads being safe, nurses being paid on time, the public books to be kept in order and living costs to be kept under control.
It would be peculiar if Australia took the lead on regime change so it is doubly so when you try do it on climate change.
It’s time for governments to stick to their knitting.
Barnaby is right.
I particularly and enthusiastically applaud his astute observation that Australian political parties should not “get too carried away saving the world when it is quite evident that is not the league we play in; leave that to the US, China and the 100 million population league”.
We are a pissant little country; a big-arse island continent, with a tiny population.
A pimple on the bum of the world.
Nothing wrong with that.
Except when idiot, corrupt politicians decide to squeeze the pimple, thinking that they are “saving the planet”.
It is high time that Australian politicians – and Australians more generally, for that matter – gave our relative overachievement-in-sports-driven national hubris the big punt, and instead embraced the humility that would enable us to avoid being taken on the kind of mad “frolics” that Senator Joyce wisely resists.